A phosphopeptide library was used to determine the sequence specificity of the peptide-binding sites of SH2 domains. One group of SH2 domains (Src, Fyn, Lck, Fgr, Abl, Crk, and Nck) preferred sequences with the general motif pTyr-hydrophilic-hydrophilic-Ile/Pro while another group (SH2 domains of p85, phospholipase C-gamma, and SHPTP2) selected the general motif pTyr-hydrophobic-X-hydrophobic. Individual members of these groups selected unique sequences, except the Src subfamily (Src, Fyn, Lck, and Fgr), which all selected the sequence pTyr-Glu-Glu-Ile. The variability in SH2 domain sequences at likely sites of contact provides a structural basis for the phosphopeptide selectivity of these families. Possible in vivo binding sites of the SH2 domains are discussed.